Today: Feb 19 , 2020

Acker Night: Something Musical for Everyone

15 December 2008  
Where else on earth can you go to an event where you can listen to Country, Jazz, Dixieland, Blues, Folk, and Classical, all within twenty steps?


The Kiwanis Jug Band is a huge crowd favorite.
Where else on earth can you go to an event where you can listen to Country, Jazz, Dixieland, Blues, Folk, and Classical, all within twenty steps? The Acker Music Festival is a night out to see the best of Prescott with a few of your fellow friends and neighbors.


Actually the word has gotten out that this is an event that makes Prescott, truly Prescott. This year despite the threatening rain clouds,when it seems that we can't find any good news, there's just something about crowding into a store downtown with your kids, to listen to some of our friends and neighbors play from their heart. (Or, even belly dance from their heart?) Yes, there's a really, really wide variety to choose from on Acker Night.

It almost makes you feel like you just walked out of "A Christmas Carol". Or maybe that's the people dressed up in Victorian clothes. Did I mention that the array includes Gospel, Carols, and Choirs to celebrate the Christmas season?

My Acker night began at Lamersons Jewelry with the Hometown Banjoleers. It was pretty great to see young children watch with rapt attention as strumming and picking banjos played the Robert E. Lee. I would have been happy to stay out of the rain, but duty demanded that I take my two middle schoolers out into the night to sample the musical diversity of over a hundred individual events. While my children kept trying to drag me out of anywhere playing anything that sounded too much like country and western, we went up and down Cortez, Montezuma, and Granite. We stopped to see the Cloggers, then continued west on Gurley, east on Goodwin, across Willis. We wound in and out of the Firehouse Plaza. Stopped to see the tap dancing, and the belly dancers (what?).

I wish that I could say that I was able to see every showcased event, but after two and a half hours I can only say that I will try again next year.

If you go next year, here's a hint: Among the events that you really should try to see is the Jug Band at the Elks Opera House. Always attracting a standing-room-only crowd, this is a showcase for musical lampooning of notables in Prescott. It has become such an renowned event, that reportedly the first-term Mayor was hoping to be included in the ribbing this year. So, as Bob Huck said before embarking on a musical celebration of Mayor Jack Wilson, "Be careful what you wish for!"

A word of caution: if you want to sit down at the various events that is going to be difficult. Some, such as the City Hall, have seating, but most just crowd people in to stand around the artist(s) and enjoy.

All the events downtown were free but donations are still gladly accepted for the J.S. Acker Music Scholarship fund. Many of recipients of funds have returned to bring joy to the people of Prescott and the surrounding areas. Tax deductible donations can still be made to the J.S.Acker Music Park Association, P.O. Box 12677, Prescott, AZ, 86304

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